Acupuncture/electroacupuncture enhances anti-depressant effect of Seroxat: the Symptom Checklist-90 scores

Neural Regen Res. 2014 Jan 15;9(2):213-22. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.125353.


ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE PATIENTS WITH PRIMARY UNIPOLAR DEPRESSION WERE RANDOMLY DIVIDED INTO THREE GROUPS: drug group (Seroxat administration), acupuncture group (Seroxat plus acupuncture), and electroacupuncture group (Seroxat plus acupuncture plus electroacupuncture). Patients' symptoms were evaluated using a psychometric questionnaire, the Symptom Checklist-90, before intervention and after 2, 4, 6 and 10 weeks of treatment. The individual factor scores and the total score from the Symptom Checklist-90 reduced in all three groups as treatment progressed. In the acupuncture and electroacupuncture groups, the total score and the factor scores for obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression, and anxiety were significantly lower than those in the drug group. There was no significant difference in the factor scores or total scores between the acupuncture and electroacupuncture groups. Some factor scores in the electroacupuncture group, such as somatization, depression, hostility, and phobic anxiety, were increased at 10 weeks compared with the respective score immediately after the course of electroacupuncture at 6 weeks. Our findings indicate that administration of Seroxat alone or in combination with acupuncture/electroacupuncture can produce a significant effect in patients with primary unipolar depression. Furthermore, acupuncture/electroacupuncture has a rapid onset of therapeutic effect and produces a noticeable improvement in obsessive-compulsive, depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Keywords: NSFC grant; Seroxat; Symptom Checklist-90; acupuncture and moxibustion; anxiety; electroacupuncture; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; primary unipolar depression; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.